Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

 Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes via The Baker Chick

Do you guys have a “Baking Bucket List?”  You know, a list of all the things you want to tackle either in your mind or written down? I have been meaning to share mine here, hoping that having it in a public place will keep me accountable and also possibly inspire some readers to bake along with me. Hopefully I’ll be able to get that done sometime soon!

Anyway- Swiss Meringue Buttercream has been on this list for as long as I have had this blog. Everyone raves about it as being far fluffier and dreamier than regular buttercream, and I knew it was something I needed to try. It never seemed necessarily difficult, but just complex enough that I would tend to be lazy and just make regular buttercream.  (It involves heating eggwhites and sugar, whipping them into a meringue, and then adding the butter and powdered sugar.) I love the regular stuff- but often times I end up making it sugar-y sweet in order to be stiff enough to hold shape which can be overpowering at times. This stuff though- light as air, fluffy as a cloud and not too sweet at all. In fact the entire recipe only uses a cup of sugar, and yields enough for 24 cupcakes or a layer cake. I’m sold.

 Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes via The Baker Chick

Once again like with the Classic Yellow Layer Cake with Fudge Filling I made a few weeks ago, I took a Free Online Class from Craftsty that outlined the whole process step by step. Watching a video on how to make the frosting made it seem way less daunting than it always is in my head and really helped me know I was doing everything right along the way. (For example, there is a stage of making this frosting where the whole mixture looks like cottage cheese and I would have flipped if they don’t show in the class how that’s totally normal!)

I wanted to pair the frosting with my favorite flavor on the planet, so I made the Ultimate in Salted Caramel Cupcakes: Light and fluffy Brown Sugar Cake, Salted Caramel filling, the fluffiest Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream and of course some more caramel on top with a sea salt sprinkle. In short- to die for. Neither the cake or the frosting are super sweet which gives room for the caramel inside to shine.

 Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes via The Baker Chick

The class is again being offered FREE to my readers by Craftsy. I highly recommend you take it and give this frosting a try. Once you watch it and do it yourself you’ll have the confidence to make it again and realize it’s a pretty resilient recipe. (I was sure I over-beat my egg whites and it still turned out perfectly.) I mixed Salted Caramel Sauce right into the base frosting to give it some flavor, but the options are endless. Click here to enroll for free and get the recipe for this Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

Note: The recipe below makes 12 cupcakes and half a batch of the frosting recipe was perfect. I mixed 2 tablespoons of Salted Caramel Sauce into the finished frosting. 

Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • a large pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1/2 recipe Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Recipe found here)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with liners, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, mix in vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down the bowl- don't over mix the batter.
  5. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pan. Let cupcakes cool completely.
  6. Use a paring knife to core a small little but out of each cupcake and fill with a small dollop of caramel.
  7. Swirl 2 tablespoons of caramel into the frosting and pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce and sprinkle with sea salt.


Base cupcake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.


This post was sponsored by Crafsy but my thoughts and opinions on frosting and everything are always 100% my own! :)

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 Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes via The Baker Chick  Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes via The Baker Chick  Ultimate Salted Caramel Cupcakes via The Baker Chick

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  1. says

    These cupcakes look just amazing! I have had trouble with eggs curdling making Swiss buttercream, so I almost always make Italian buttercream. I don’t even like traditional buttercream anymore – I’m so spoiled :)

  2. Vickie says

    I watched his video and he is very detailed with the directions. It’s a great resource to have so you can see what it should look like when you are going through the steps. I have to say that I have found there is no need to keep adding butter till it gets to a certain consistency. In other words if a recipe calls for a cup of butter (most call for more) you don’t need to worry about consistency. Keep beating and it will get to that perfect silky consistency. You may want to adjust for warmer days and use less, but you wont need to add more to get that lovely consistency SMBC is known for. If you’ve never made it before it would be confusing to be wondering if you’ve added enough butter. I use 5 egg whites, one cup of butter and one cup of sugar. I really like it with less butter than most recipes and a side benefit to this is it’s less expensive. My recipe looks a bit whiter but I do make my own butter for it so that may be a factor along with it just being less butter. I use a half gallon of organic heavy whipping cream from Costco to make butter, which is very inexpensive – not much more than buying butter, and infinitely better. It makes about 3 cups of butter and takes me about 15 minutes. On a side note I don’t use any powdered sugar in my SMBC and have never had any problems with stability. I don’t like the mouth feel of the uncooked cornstarch in it but most people don’t notice it.

  3. says

    I totally have a baking bucket list! Swiss meringue buttercream, though, is not on it – I make it all the time and now I just find it to be far superior to normal buttercream. It’s so fluffy and dreamy :D

    And these cupcakes, oh goodness, these are a caramel-ahloics dream (AKA me). Pinned!

  4. June says

    I don’t understand the line in the recipe about placing half a cookie in each cupcake liner. (Line 2 of the instructions). Am I missing something here?

  5. Kathryn says

    These cupcakes look divine! I am simply STUNNED at how you do it all- being an NYC first-time mama, maintaining this beautiful blog with gorgeous food photography and baking new recipes, let alone have anytime to yourself! Way to go Audra! Cheers!

    • says

      Aw thanks Kathryn. I have 2 sisters that come to help me out when I have big baking projects :) I don’t get much time for myself but that will change soon

      • Kathryn says

        So glad you have two sisters in the city. I am actually friends with Natalie Hill and it seems like you have a wonderful community of women slaying life! Rock on!

  6. Stacy from Australia says

    Thank you for sharing these recipes. I made a batch of these yesterday and they were divine. I had never heard of Swiss Meringue Buttercream before but I’m so glad I tried the recipe. It has an amazing taste, texture and mouthfeel, it will be hard to go back to normal buttercream now. It was helpful to have the tutorial, to be honest when mine curdled I was sceptical that more butter was the answer but like magic it came together. The caramel sauce recipe with photo tutorial was also great and I’ll be sure to check out some of your other recipes to use up the leftover caramel sauce. Thankyou again!

  7. Brittney says

    Thank you for this recipe!! I made these for a baby shower yesterday for a mother-to-be who has been craving salted caramel desserts. Everyone was RAVING about them! People who don’t normally like cupcakes/caramel/denser cake were talking about how good they were! My aunt actually said they were the best cupcakes she ever had. Trust me…they are worth the effort! Also, side note, I thought I completely ruined the frosting because it became so clumpy when i added the butter… but I realized the butter was just too cold, so I warmed it up a little and then kept mixing it and it was perfect :)

  8. Kayla says

    DEAR GOD these are AMAZING! I just made them and… all I can say is wow.. pure salted caramel heaven!

    • says

      I just keep my piping bag straight up and down and pipe straight down- does that make sense? I don’t swirl the frosting in a circle- I just let it come straight down.

  9. Lexi says

    This was really disappointing. The cupcakes were extremely dense (almost to the point of being unpleasant for a cupcake) and they tasted purely like flour.

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